Petraeus 'next head of CIA'
Panetta to lead PentagonGen David Petraeus, the head of international forces in Afghanistan, will be nominated as CIA director when its chief moves to head the Pentagon, the Associated Press reports.
CIA director Leon Panetta will be nominated to take over as US defence secretary when Robert Gates retires in 2011, AP quoted sources as saying.
The changes will be announced on Thursday, sources said.
I am but your typical ignorant citizen, but why in the world would you make Leon Panetta Defense Secretary when he wasn't even qualified for his LAST assignment as head of the CIA? For crying out loud, he was Chief of Staff for Pres. Clinton (1994-97), Director of the Office of Management and Budget (1993-94), and before that was a Congressman for nearly twenty years. Oh, and Chair of the House Budget Committee for four. He is a lawyer by profession, and served only two years in the Army 1963-1965.
According to Wikipedia, "Panetta has long been an advocate for the health of the world's oceans."
Unless you're really trying to screw things up... on purpose.
In other news - not all that dissimilar - the federal government is threatening to oust the CEO of a pharmaceutical company.
any front we can.
We will go through the gate.
If the gate is closed, we will go over the fence.
If the fence is too high, we will pole vault in.
If that doesn’t work, we will parachute in..."
-- Nancy Pelosi
The story was on the front page of the Wall Street Journal yesterday:
A government attempt to oust a longtime drug-company chief executive over his company's marketing violations is raising alarms in that industry and beyond about a potential expansion of federal involvement in the business world.
The Department of Health and Human Services this month notified Howard Solomon of Forest Laboratories Inc. that it intends to exclude him from doing business with the federal government. This, in turn, could prevent Forest from selling its drugs to Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration.... No drug company, large or small, can afford to lose out on sales to the federal government, a major customer.
The campaign against drug-company CEOs is part of a larger Obama administration effort to pursue individual executives blamed for wrongdoing rather than simply punishing companies. The government has tried to prosecute Wall Street executives in connection with the 2008 financial crisis, but with limited success.
The Health and Human Services department startled drug makers last year when the agency said it would start invoking a little-used administrative policy under the Social Security Act against pharmaceutical executives. This policy allows [government] officials to bar corporate leaders from health-industry companies doing business with the government, if a drug company is guilty of criminal misconduct.
The agency said a chief executive or other leader can be banned even if he or she had no knowledge of a company's criminal actions. Retaining a banned executive can trigger a company's exclusion from government business.
The "action against the CEO of Forest Labs is a game changer," said Richard Westling, a corporate defense attorney in Nashville who has represented executives in different industries against the government.
According to Mr. Westling, "It would be a mistake to see this as solely a health-care industry issue. The use of sanctions such as exclusion and debarment to punish individuals where the government is unable to prove a direct legal or regulatory violation could have wide-ranging impact."
He said that the Defense Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, for example, have debarment powers similar to the HHS exclusion authority....
These are thugs running the government. Last year, the feds succeeded in cutting the head off any opposition from the coal industry when they (indirectly) forced the resignation of the Chairman and CEO of Massey Energy, Don Blankenship. Massey Energy was the sixth largest coal company in the U.S. and Blankenship was an outspoken critic of government efforts to grab power through interventions in private sector businesses.
"We ... endure a Mine Safety and Health Administration that seeks power over coal miners versus improving their safety and their health. As someone who has overseen the mining of more coal than anyone else in the history of central Appalachia, I know that the safety and health of coal miners is my most important job. I don’t need Washington politicians to tell me that, and neither do you. But I also know — I also know Washington and state politicians have no idea how to improve miner safety. The very idea that they care more about coal miner safety than we do is as silly as global warming".
Blankenship had their number early on:
'We want energy independence.
We're concerned about homeland security,
we're concerned about jobs,'
and yet every specific action they take
says the opposite."
G-d help us, we have 559 days to go until the next presidential election.